Toddlers and Tiaras: Flippers and Spray Tanning?

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Toddlers and Tiaras, the new TLC series, is teaching me new vocabulary words! This week learned for the first time about flippers! When pageant girls are in the tooth losing state of childhood, fake front teeth, called known as flippers, are worn to perfect their smiles.

Let me state for the record that I am from the South. I know women who did the pageant circuit as teens and really enjoyed it. But some of the families profiled on Toddlers and Tiaras represent the worst stereotypes about stage mothers!

On the show, I see the moms say how much their kids love the pageants. But the children seem stressed out, scared and incredibly pressured by their moms to perform. Here are a few examples from the show:

Toddler Spray Tan

Mom takes her kids to get spray tanned to prepare for the weekend pageant. The younger daughter is scared of the spray tanning booth, as any toddler would be! Is it really worth it to scare the heck out of a toddler in order to get a tan? I understand we have to make our kids do things they are afraid of, but getting a spray tan isn't up there for me.

Hobby Lobby

This week's episode followed a mom with two girls on the pageant circuit. We see the mom practicing and barking at the girls, and the little girls admit they often practice all day. One of the daughters says she doesn't like to get her mom mad! The part of watching this mom that made my stomach hurt was when she and her pageant costume consultant went to Hobby Lobby to get fabric for the costumes. They spent $600 on fabric! OMG. Spending $600 for just fabric for a costume seems over-the-top.

As I mentioned, I know there are girls who love the pageants and love performing. Cafe Cynthia over on Toddler Buzz has a good interview with a CafeMom member who is involved with pageants. I know there are reasonable moms who allow their daughters to be in beauty pageants!

But I don't see the normal moms and families on Toddlers and Tiaras! I see moms pushing kids to be beauty queens for their own reasons. If you think I am wrong, please let me know. I'll give you one final example why I feel the way I do about this subject.

Bella Wins and Cries

On one episode, a little girl won...and she burst out into tears. But these tears weren't tears of joy. Little Bella cried because she was relieved she won back the money the family spent for the pageant. Poor little Bella, who is five years old, was worried about the money. When a Kindergarten age child feels the weight of the family finances on her shoulders because of a beauty pageant, it's not fun anymore. 

Talk to me. Am I being harsh or do you agree?


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MagnaMeg MagnaMeg

Harsh?!  Are you kidding?!  I think you're being too easy on some of these moms...

tayla... taylansmom

I agree to do things through your children is sad. yes, I want my child to be able to do things that I didn't have the opportunity to do but geez I wouldn't push it on them.

beara... bearandtreemom

Tanning: I think it shouldn't be done... but the little girl wanted too until she got in there and it freaked her out.


Hobby Lobby: She wasn't a single mom, she's a lesbian...it showed her and her partner and their "friend" who was designing their dresses...


Just some little corrections,

baref... barefootbchbum

harsh? hell no..some of these parents are first class a-holes...I would NEVER do any of that to my dd. I mean if my dd wanted to do pageants then fine, but I would never pressure her to win like that, maybe explain to her that if she is going to do it she has to commit, and do her best but never make my child cry because she is glad she won back the money the family spent..that is over the top..

Cafe... Cafe MichelleL

bearandtreemom, noted on the singlemomdom! Did not see the partner only the consultant.

avasm... avasmom1606

I f-ing hate the way these moms act w/ their dd's in pageants it's sick. Spray tans, perming hair/relaxers, can't the kid just be a kid? Isn't the pageant supposed 2B4 natural beauty??? & not only shame on the moms, shame on the judges or other pageant directors allowing this to go on! From what I've seen most of if not all of the moms should have CPS called on them, it's abuse...U don't spray chemicals on a child 2 make them dark, like telling them "you're too white and that's ugly" like making them think that being caucasian is a horrible race. or frying their hair w/perms/straighteners,hairsprays & mouse. my mom wouldn't put hairspray in my hair or let me wear makeup until I was 12, I didn't go 2 my first tanning bed until I was 20 (my choice) & even now I barely wear makeup & never use hairspray cause I look better natural,everyone does. Why make the girls look like fake porcelain dolls, then they grow up & do drugs, are promiscuous, anything 2 get attention cause they were raised 2 think that's the only way 2B accepted by society is 2 do anything 2 draw attention 2 yourself, good or bad. I think pageants for girls under age 15 are pointless, let them be kids while they can, playing in mud, wearing jeans & tshirts, decide if THEY want 2 model or whatever. The ONLY thing I will enforce on my dd is swim lessons cause it can save her life in the future. other than that, my child gets 2 do whatever she wants 2 do, I want her to be a kid.

kirst... kirstensmommie

This show makes me sick. How your going to dress you 3 year old to look like a 30 year old is unbelievable. Spray tanning, fake teeth give me a break these are babies not grow women.

kayla... kaylajean86

all these little girls are going to be witches when they get older

Lumin... LuminousMom

nope.. not harsh. I find it disgusting - particularly that some of the girls model SWIMWEAR... WTF? Miss America.. that I get. a TODDLER does not need to be in "peak physical condition". To me, that's no better than pedophilia.. and in fact, makes me wonder if parents realise pedophiles come to things like child pageants. If that's a risk they are willing to take.. well.. that's very sad.

Pollymom Pollymom

I think that whole show and the whole toddler pageant mentality is ridiculous and stupid. It's disgusting the way these moms "pimp" their babies to win a few bucks and popularity or whatever. And to have your child cry because she won money back that her family spent on the stupid pageant? That's just cruel.


I'm positive that those moms are living through their daughters and it's really sad.

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